Friday, December 19, 2014


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The Berkshires

Is snowboarding on its way out?

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Albany/HV: Is snowboarding on its way out?
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The 90s were a decade that produced the "grunge" music scene and the sport of snowboarding. Grunge is gone. And as our Christian Farrell tells us, there are some who say snowboarding is also on the way out.

VERNON, N.J. -- "We're seeing kids who're coming into the sport now on skis, that maybe five years ago we would've expected to start out on snowboards," said Mountain Creek Ski Resort President Bill Benneyan.

Benneyan says he's read the recent industry reports. The ones saying the sport of snowboarding has peaked. It's popularity is plummeting.

But Benneyan says writing off a sport that 20 years ago carved out its own space on the slopes is a bit premature - especially at this Vernon New Jersey ski resort.

Why snowboarding over skiing?

"Snowboarding is much more cooler," said snowboarder Tenzin Shurpa.

"Here at our resort, because we're metro based, we're very accessible. About 60 percent snowboard and 40 percent ski, of all ages," said Benneyan.

While there is no shortage of snowboarders here at Mountain Creek, reports of the sports decline are not ignored.

"I think that's where the industry is a lot smarter. We've gotten this one piece of data - okay what are we going to do about this. This is our future, whether it's snowboarding or skiing, mostly we're focusing on how we're going to get more people into the sport in general," said Benneyan.

At Orange County Snowboards in Middletown, sales have been down the last couple of years.
But store manager Ali Berg has a different take on the RRC Associates study. A study that cites fewer young people are now taking up the sport, coupled with the older "original snowboarders" becoming more mature.

"I think the winters in the past two years have been pretty mild, and people have had a hard time getting involved in snowboarding," said Berg.

If you can just get them to the mountain Bill Benneyan likes to say, "One thing about skiing and snowboarding is it's a social sport."

... plenty of fun to do with family and friends. ClientIP:, UserAgent: CCBot/2.0 ( Profile: TWCSAMLSP